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John Boehner 14, Washington 7, Boehner 7, D.c. 5, Georgia 4, Obama 4, Brooklyn 3, South Carolina 3, Jenny Sanford 3, Kasim Reed 3, Grover Norquist 3, Rhonda Lee 3, Pelosi 3, America 2, New York City 2, Nbc News 2, United States 2, Wtbs 2, Nbc 2, Medicare 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    December 13, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00am PST  

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hi, everybody. i'm thomas roberts. the talks to nowhere. the talks to the fiscal tank is nearly running empty. one wrong turn away from disaster. we're going to hear from speaker boehner in a couple of minutes. he and the president are barely speaking. on the left, minority lead nancy pelosi who took speaker boehner to school yesterday, telling him to figure it out. moments ago, she called on the house gop to stay on the hill and keep working. >> here we are, 18 days from a possible fiscal cliff, hopefully not. 12 days until christmas. and here we are, once again, having a two-day work week, in the congress of the united states. you have to ask the question, why are we going home instead of working very hard to forge an agreement to avoid that fiscal
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cliff? >> and on the right, republicans who accused the president of wanting to take the plunge in order to achieve his objective number one. >> he'll probably eventually get his tax increases one way or another. he's going to get his wish. i believe we'll be raising taxes not just on the top earner. everyone is going to pay taxes next year in this country and i think that's what the president wants. >> and the center in the balance. the american economy, fed chair ben bernanke warning that the stalemate over the cliff is already inflicting damage. >> it's already affecting business investment and hiring decisions by creating uncertainty or creating pessimism. >> with taxes poised to go up for everyone. our new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll saying increasing fed up, the majority of voters from both parties want washington to make it happen. joining me is south carolina
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congressman james clyburn. sir, good to have you here. we just heard nancy pelosi calls on congress not to leave the hill after a two-day work week. are republicans on the hill wanting to do the same thing, wanting to stay there and get this deal done? >> thank you so much for having me, thomas. yeah, i do believe we want to see the deal done. i've talked to a lot of republicans who feel that we ought to do this. before we go home. then come back next week for a day or so to rat that fi whatever it is to put in place. and then go home so that the holidays with our families and friends. so people want to see this done. they know pretty much what has to be done. and they would like to see us just do it. and get out of here. >> congressman, are the outs in the favor of this two-step process of getting something done that will save the majority of americans 98% from tax increases come the new year?
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is that mainly the game plan at this point, with time running down? >> well, i hope it is. i would love to see a big deal. you know, i served on the so-called supercommittee. i was a member of the biden group. and throughout all of that, we were working on how to get to a big deal. but even back then, we were looking at a $1.2 trillion deal to just get beyond the so-called sequestration. and that would be a down payment on the bigger deal to come later, getting up around $4 trillion to $5 trillion. so i think that's still there. so i think it's still a two-step process. we may be talking different numbers. >> right. >> but there's always going to be two steps. >> we just heard from south carolina, senator jim demint who is going to predict that they get their wish. also accusing the president of intentionally trying to walk the
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country off the cliff right now. is the president sending the message right now, it's his way or the highway? >> no, i don't think so. the president is saying it must be fair and it must be balanced. that's all he's ever said. i was here back in 1994. and i will remind mr. demint and if my memory serves, he was here as well. and he was in the house at that time. and they were all saying the same things. well, i think rob english was here. he came later. of the fact of the matter is all the republicans back then were talking about what would happen in 1993, to the economy, if we were to do the so-called clinton tax hikes. well, we did them. and what did it get us? it got us 22 million new jobs. it got us a big surplus after the end of the clinton years. so just because they say it does not make it so. >> so we're waiting on this speaker john boehner's briefing
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from capitol hill coming up in moments from now. we're going to take that to everybody live. but i want to get you on the record before we go to ask you what's going on in the state of south carolina the senate shuffle going on with senator demint's leaving and nikki haley. down to tim scott, the first african-american senator since reconstruction. jenny sanford being on the governor's short list to replace him. out of those names, other names like mulvaney as well as a possible consideration. what do you think about a jenny sanford being put in to replace jim demint? >> i think it would be a great choice. i think jim atim would be a goo choice. tim would be the first
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african-american senator after that. jenny sanford would make the first woman to serve in this capacity, so far as i know. and he's a great person. i like jenny a whole lot. i like tim. neither one of those would be insulting to me. of course, one of them politically i feel closer to than the other. so i don't want to cause them any real difficulty. so i won't say which one of those that is i feel closest to. >> i was going to say which compliment are you going to give this to. then the governor is going to go the other way. congressman james clyburn, thank you so much for your insight own who might come in for demint there. sir, i appreciate your time. >> thank you so much for having me. i want to bring in msnbc contributor terry bacon and ted strickland and susan felicio.
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i want to start with you, congressman and talk about what they're saying with the clock ticking down on this, the gop is going off the image cliff with their branding. 65% offering negative views of the party right now in the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, including half of the republicans giving the words "negative" and "uncompromising" as their gut reaction. while the president's approval is way up, the public craving for a deal, governor, is very strong. the appetite is strong. so does the president risk not displaying a better sensible center compromise here to reach victory? >> well, my perception is, the president is being very fair. he wants a balanced approach. he's -- he's willing to work with these guys. i think he's demonstrated that. but he won the election. and he won the election with the people knowing that he wanted to raise the tax rates on the upper
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2% while protecting working class folks. i mean, the people have spoken on this issue, and i think once we resolve this, once the republicans are willing to accept this tax rate on that upper 2%, these other issues can be resolved. but this is a critical part of the negotiations. and i think the president's being candid and upfront and honest with the american people as well as with the republican leadership. >> one person who is loving the fact that john boehner is sticking to his guns on this is grover norquist. the tax guru. this is on c-span. take a listen. we don't have that sound. excuse me. basically, he's talking about the fact that he is sticking to his guns. david axelrod from the obama side of things fired back saying he is an ego maniacal act. so we got both firing off.
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republicans psyched at thinking if they do go over the edge, that they can get over the edge of the specter of grover norquist. the shadow of that and that there will be a clean slately 2013. >> well, depends on what you mean by clean slate. i don't think republicans will ever move away from lower taxes, reduced spending. in fact, there's another poll out today that talks about people really supporting the idea of making cuts. not just raising taxes but making cuts to reduce spending. so i think the public wants cuts. the public wants to reduce out-of-control spending. republicans have said they will put tax money on the table. so there's a lot more agreement out there that people are being given credit for. probably have said we'll do tax revenue, as long as we have tax cuts. getting away from grover norquist, he's one man.
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the taxes i don't think we'll ever see republican party move away from. >> half the americans trust the president more in handling of negotiations. the majority says he has a clear mandate from the november election. 68% on reducing taxes on the wealthy. if both sides get blame, don't republicans get more out of the hurt on this one? >> if we go over the cliff next month, both sides will be hurt. the polls say that the president has a mandate. voters do support raising taxes. both have the upper hand but still it will damage both parties. 59% of the republicans in the poll say let's reach a deal. at this point, i'm not sure why the republican party is not moving towards where the voters of their own party are. >> governor, we hear the age-old adage trust but verify.
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are we watching the trenches of this trust just getting deeper in washington, d.c. as negotiations sputter along? and can the two sides actually bridge a compromise on this to show that they can move washington, d.c. forward, or does this type of negotiation just exacerbate the cathasm. >> i think if they sit down, they can reach an agreement but the question is ask john boehner take any agreement to his caucus and be assured that they're going to support it. and the president can't make commits until he has some assurance that whatever speaker boehner negotiates with him is something he can about accomplishing with his caucus. and we don't seem to be there, because, you know, the real issue, i don't think is between john boehner and president obama. i think the real issue is between john boehner and the frag aremented caucus that he's trying to lead. and i feel sorry for john
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boehner in so many eways. he's literally between a rock and a hard place but he's got to resolve it as representative pelosi said as speaker. he's got a responsibility to provide leadership and resolve this within his own caucus. >> while this has been going on for weeks now we've been talking about this. the american appetite, as i said, it is growing to get something done. americans are paying attention. 53% are optimistic and satisfied that obama was re-elected. 45% describe themselves as uncertain or pessimistic. that optimistic number is up from october. how how much do you think the p.r. campaign paying into that? >> i don't think it does much. the president won re-election and driving support for his numbers. what we have to watch over the next few days, ultimately, something like 70 or 80 republicans have to sign the tax
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relief in order to get past this cliff. that's the big challenger. we've only seen 10 or 12 republicans in congress say i'm willing to raise taxes. until that number gets higher this is going to be a big process. >> susan, what about the president's leverage? do you think he continues in the position he's in to carry the leverage that he needs to get this deal done as the time clicks out? >> clearly, he's got leverage. but his leverage is only going to go so far. i know from talking to folks on capitol hill, there is a real willingness on the part of republicans in the house, more than a dozen. i'm talking a majority who would raise tax revenue. they're willing to do it. they're willing to go outside the comfort zone and do that, but only if they see democrats step forward on the cut side. and we haven't seen that yet. even the most moderate of republican, even the ones who are retiring say they're not willing to go for any kind of tax revenue until they see bigger cuts.
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this whole argument that it's republicans versus republicans, i think that's a phony argument. i think the real problem right now is democrats. it's kind of on them right now whether they're going to put more cuts forward. that's what's going to get the ball rolling on this. >> governor, i think you heard you laughing there. >> the republicans want to raise the retirement age for qualifying for medicare. it's easy for these folks to sit around in ivory towers and air-conditioned offices but my brothers are cement masons, they get down on their knees and finish concrete in the boiling sun. you can't do that when you're 67 years of age. i think you need to get real here and not simply look to the working people to help solve this problem when i think the wealthy, the rich, the successful folks who have achieved great wealth, at this point, aren't crediting their fair share to solving our fiscal problems. >> our power panel for this thursday. thank you so much for joining.
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i just want to pass along to everybody. we are watching the live event coming to us from washington, d.c., just moments to house speaker john boehner. we'll have steny hoyer on the showdown that could make the fiscal cliff standoff look like child's play. and then a prominent african-american changes his tune for marriage equality. i'm going to speak with obama supporter kasim reed. >> and then a reporter are sounds off on her closely cropped hair. and then the bill banning insurance coverage for all aborgs, even in cases of rape and incest. did republicans miss the memo in this past election? weigh in on facebook and twitter. ♪
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as promised, we're keeping a very close watch on capitol hill. house speaker boehner expected to make his weekly briefing in a moment now. if the gaggle he just gave republicans is any indication that he has been in contentious in previous briefings. let's get the latest. kristen walker is live and mike live on capitol hill. mike, let's start with you. talking about the fact that we're waiting for john boehner to come out. but the behind-the-scenes attitude that he's displaying is what? >> basically, we're nowhere, thomas. after a glimpse of optimism after the president met privately with john boehner over the weekend at the white house. we're back to the point where it's a standoff. republicans want the president to come forth, show a little ankle, if you will, on where
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he's willing to cut spending. youjohn boehner in the briefing room has a chart. in boehner's words as we've been given excerpts by his staff is spending. the problem is entitlements. that is what's driving the debt. you see that large red portion of that chart that boehner is about to use. you know, the question is, will he have the votes to pass whatever it is he puts on the floor, thomas? and there's an ironclad rule in the house of representatives. and that is, a speaker does not put something on the floor that is not going to pass with the majority of his congress, in this case, republicans, and anything with tax hikes on it as the president is insisting on, whether that gets on the floor or republicans, that's highly questionable. >> is foster friess giving you a little ankle there? >> foster friess, that's a name from the past.
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>> kristen, let's talk about what the president is able to acquiesce about spending cuts? this about compromise or total victory? >> i think to some extent it's about compromise. but there is no doubt that president obama believes he has leverage when it comes to getting tax increases on the wealthiest americans. at this point in time, showing no sign that they're going to give on the issue. it's a bit of a game of chicken which mike was talking about, both side is waiting for the other to concede a little before they agree to give up anything. president obama is going to continue his p.r. campaign today, thomas. to try to put the pressure on house republicans to get on board. he's going to grant a number of interviews to anchors from local affiliates from across the country. of course, we've had him invite chief stakeholders here to the white house. he's also traveled, making trips to pennsylvania, as well as michigan in recent days to kind of put the pressure on
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republicans to come over to his side on this issue of taxes. but, of course, that continues to be the main sticking point. but if you look at the polls, including the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, it shows that the majority of americans want both of these sides to compromise. if they can't, it looks like they will hold both sides accountable. that is adding to president obama's steam here. he believes he has it. >> kristen welker at the white house and mike. we're waiting for john boehner there live. in political wire, a new strategy memo saying the gop has, quote, run out of persuadable white voters. for the fifth time in the past six presidential elections, republicans have lost the political vote. politico has a perspective
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saying i think we did a great job. unfortunately, i think the other side did a great job for four years. and huffington post, is going to arrest lady gaga. why? for promoting lggt rights.
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weekly briefing. >> the president has not make a deal that meets those two standards but republicans have. his proposals have been anything but. he wants far more in tax hikes than spending cuts. and instead of trying to solve our debt problem, he wants new stimulus spending and the ability to raise the debt limit whenever he wants without tax cuts or reforms. it's clear the president is just not serious about cutting spending. but spending is the problem. how big a problem? well, look at this chart put together by paul ryan and the budget committee. this line is the current baseline for revenue. here, if the president got everything he wanted over $1.4 trillion in taxes, this is what that would represent. but if you look at the spending problem, you see it does nothing. nothing to solve the spending problem that our country has.
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listen, republicans want to solve this problem by getting the spending line down. and the president wants to pretend the spending isn't the problem. that's why we don't have an agreement. the chart, what i've been saying for a long time now, washington has a spending problem that can't be fixed with tax increases alone. now, the right answer is to start cutting spending, addressing our debt. and paving the way for long-term economic growth. unfortunately, the white house is so unserious about cutting spending, that it appears willing to slow-walk any agreement, and walk our economy right up to the fiscal cliff. doing that, puts jobs in our country, in danger. jeopardizes a golden opportunity to make 2013 the year that we enact fundamental tax reform and entitlement reform to begin to
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solve our country's debt problem, frankly, revenue problem. as you can see from this chart, real revenue growth is critically important, as long as real cuts in spending, if we're going to solve our long-term fiscal problem. as i said five weeks ago, the election wasn't a mandate to raise taxes on small businesses. it was a mandate for both parties to work together, to take on the big challenges that our country is facing. republicans are ready and eager to do just that. we made a reasonable offer. it's now up to the white house to show us how they're going to cut spending and give us the balanced agreement that the president has talked about for weeks. if the president will step up and show us he's willing to make the spending cuts that are needs, i think we can do some real good in the days ahead. if not, he wants to keep chasing higher spending with higher
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taxes. this chart's going to look a whole lot worse. and our kids and grandkids are the ones that are going to suffer because washington is too short-sided to fix the problem. >> several reasons have been said that about 75% of the public believes that tax rates for the upper people earning should expire. for the tax cuts that most americans have, a lot of people say we shouldn't have to? >> raising tax rates will hurt small businesses at a time when we're expecting small businesses to be the engine of job creation in america. ernst & young has made it clear, if we were to do what the president is asking for, 700,000 jobs would be at risk. it's as simple as that. >> we've been hearing, since late in the summer, past several years, health care, a myriad. why is it every christmas
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season, why is it every single year, no matter what year? >> well, we really shouldn't be. i argued, going back to spring, that this issue had to be dealt with. that's why in may, the house moved a bill to replace the sequester with other cuts in mandatory spending. that's why in july, the house passed a bill to extend all of the current tax rates. i've been pushing all year for us to address this problem. but here we are, at the 11th hour, and the president still isn't serious about dealing with this issue right here. it's this issue. spending. you go back, talk about polling, most americans would agree that spending is a much bigger problem than raising taxes. he want us to deal with this in a responsible way. >> again, with congress, it's where are the issues that takes this long in the year, to december, to get things done?
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>> unfortunately, that is the case we're dealing with today. >> can you say categorically that you will not put a bill on the floor to raise the lower brackets at this point without breaking them? >> i don't quite understand what the question -- >> can you categorically say you will not be coupled to upper rates? >> the law of the land society is that everyone's taxes are going to go up on january 1st. i've made it clear that i think that is unacceptable. but until we get this issue resolved, that risk remains. >> basically, mr. speaker, could you describe how difficult it is to craft a deal, that your congress will support while not jeopardizing your job as speaker? >> i'm not concerned about my job as speaker. what i'm concerned about is doing the right thing for our kids and our grandgrandkids. and if we don't fix this spending problem, their future
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is going to be rather bleak. >> they have said that they have put spending cuts on the table. they say that they know what they are -- >> they put some spending cuts on the table? unfortunately, the new stimulus table that they want outstrips all the cuts they've outlined. >> they've talked about a purge list that has been known -- basically known to be created. and people have been wanting to know some list -- >> there is no such list. >> mr. speaker, let me try again. right after the election, you said increase in tax rates was unacceptable. and since then, you've been less definitive in the language you've used. and you've used things -- you say things like you oppose that deal. that's what you said before the election. >> i do oppose the idea. >> right. will you permit a vote on the
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bill that -- would you permit a vote to decouple that and then -- >> ifs ands and buts are a can of nuts if it's that, it would be christmas. i know, it's going to be here real soon. my goal is to get to an agreement with the president of the united states that addresses this problem. >> do you think that the closer you get to the deadline, you might actually get what you want? >> i have no idea. >> mr. speaker, in the senate, he made it pretty clear that he agrees with the president had the authority to do that unilaterally. if he does that does that enforce -- >> do you think that senator reid or then senator obama would have ever given to george w. bush the unlimited ability to
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raise the debt limit? >> they're talking about doing it now. >> i know they're talking about doing it now. do you think there's any chance that senator reid or then senator obama would have done that? zero. congress has never going to give up our ability to control the purse. and the fact is, that the debt limit ought to be used to bring fiscal sanity to washington, d.c. >> last question. >> mr. speaker, i'll ask you the supreme court, as you know, house republicans -- a $1.5 million prospect, according to house democrats that cost cut has been reached. do you support the idea of raising that cost cut? >> if the justice department is not going to enforce the law of the land, then congress will. thank you, all. >> house speaker john boehner
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giving a short briefing there about the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations in washington, d.c. nbc's mike viqueira is standing by on capitol hill. mike, i guess the big head line to come out of this other than the old christmas adage about the ifs, ands, buts, is the fact it's tied mainly to negotiation? >> yeah, if you spend any time around here, andy, two things are going to happen to you as a reporter, you're going to be insulted by john boehner, and you're going to hear him say ifs ands and buts were nuts -- would you put something on the floor that didn't have a majority of republicans to vote for? that really is a threshold question. what he's asking, would you allow a vote on allowing those tax rates for the richest mer e americans to go up, would you allow the house of representatives to vote on it? hedging response from speaker john boehner which is in itself
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interesting. basically what we have here, back to square one. there's no visible movement. i'm told over the course of yesterday there were no phone calls. whatever meetings or conversations took place, it went absolutely nowhere. there's a school in this town, expected posturing, expected a bravado. the deadline, if you come to agreement, you can write this out in legislative language and have it done in a coherent way. a lot of people under the gun here. not a lot of visible movement. i wouldn't call that an encouraging appearance by the speerns. >> nbc's mike viqueira. i appreciate it. we switch gears to bring you another story that sparked rage. it's about rhonda lee, a meteorologist fired after responding to a rationally charged comment on her tv station's facebook page. a viewer posted a comment saying the black lady that does the
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news is a very nice lady. the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. i'm not sure if she's a cancer patient. what about letting a male have waist long hairdo the news, about what that? later, rhonda responded saying i'm the black lady to which you are referring. i'm sorry you don't like my ethnic hair. and no, i don't have cancer. it is it about what being american is about. i hope you can embrace that. she joins me like from shreveport. joining us sound on is melissa harris-perry, host of nbc's melissa harris-perry show. rhonda lee, your response is reasonable and perhaps kind and thanked them. explain, why did the explanation fire you. did they explain it properly is? was it just about this response issue? >> well, initially, i was -- i
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actually brought are that particular comment to the attention of management. i sent them a screen scrap at the time, and i told my manager, randy, at the time, well, you know, it seems like, i'm okay with not everybody liking me. that's fine. but a lot of our comments as of late have come across more racist than anything. so i would like to help with getting a policy together so that we can, one, block offensive posts like this. and two, maybe start a good dialogue for educating people and getting a good discourse, going on the web. so then the next few days after that, i was called into our general manager's office, and i was told that while we got lucky this time. and i got a little confused at first. i'm like, lucky, what do you mean? apparently according to the gm, it could have gone much worse. it could have gotten much more of ugly. so we got really lucky. he told me, next time if there's
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a controversial post like this, what i need to do is thank the viewer and then bring it to the attention of management, and they would do something about it. >> you did go -- you thanked viewer within that statement. i want to get into the wtbs. saying on november 12th, wtbs dismissed two employees for repeated violation of station's written procedure. miss rhonda lee was let go and warned several times if her behavior continued. were you warned about some type of ongoing behavior that was creating a file of marks against you that would lead up to termination? >> no, sir, that first remark is the first time i'd ever replied, aside of giving a forecast. and the second one, the other reason -- well, the main reason i was term theyinated was only second time i ever replied in that way at all.
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the repeated part, i asked them during my termination, when was this repeated. there was the first time in october. and now there's this time. that was it. that was all. i've never even seen that e-mail. as far as i know, as far as i can tell you, there is no written policy. that was my first and only time i'd seen that that. >> melissa, i want to bring you in. when i first heard about this and rhonda, i was taken aback. i know you were, too. the evolution of black woman has been brought to the attention by people like chris rock. >> is it signaling something to something? that you wear something, is that somehow signaling something? is that just working out our emotions? or is there something meaningful about as african-american women are trying to think true our self-preservation? >> let's talk about that the
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thinking through of the self-preservation. didn't rhonda have a right to respond? the viewer asked questions, and rhonda provides answers. >> i just want to be really clear the space we're talking about african-american women and their hair is a very are fraught space. and the idea that rhonda's employer was so aware to have a conversation about this. television, of course, is a visual media. we make all kinds of choices what we do and don't wear. what we do with our hair. how much makeup we put on before we show up on television. the idea that there's only one style of hair or one version of what would constitute beautiful or attractive hair has been an incredibly powerful tool for controlling african-american women self-presentation, in all kinds of spaces, especially corporate spaces. i'm not a fan of the chris rock film. one of the reasons is, i think it's so important for black
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women to speak for themselves about their hair. so what i appreciate about what rhonda did here, in a very calm, consistent and i think educating manner, she spoke about what her hair is. what the choices were. the reasons for it. and then she thanks the viewer for having a response. >> one thing i want to get out there, rhonda, jennifer livingston, an anchor was chastised by a viewer about her weight. she used an editorial to speak back. it was huge for her. why do you think they saw her in a different light, the moment to talk about you and your hair? >> right. i honestly wish i had a good answer why. you know, as i said before, i felt like she got a platform and i got das boot. and i'm not clear why i couldn't have used this as an educational moment.
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instead, it was very disheartening i will say i tried. i really did try. i don't believe in having to chastise a viewer, saying bad viewer. clearly, the guy just didn't know. i felt like if i was that a position to help him, i should be able to do so. >> you know rhonda, i'm sorry this has happened to you. i think it's the best thing that happened to you in the long run. who wants to work for a person like that. you can match melissa as she hosts the melissa harris-perry show right here on msnbc. ahead, a prominent big city mayor who is now coming out in support of marriage equality. i'm going to talk to kasim reed since making his big announcement. we earned them. and if washington tries to cram decisions about the future... of these programs into a last minute budget deal... we'll all pay the price.
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for thos...this...ions of doing this... ...and this, dancing in their heads... ...we have these. home depot gift cards. give the gift of doing, in-store or online. a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows the support for equality in marriage.
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the last time polled, 51% to 40%. now a majority rule. the majority saying if their home state passed the law, they would support it. a key obama supporter mayor just came out. kasim reed, it's great to have you with us today. the atlantic city council recently passed a resolution in support of marriage equality. did that come out and force your hand to support marriage equality? >> no, not at all, i've been a longstanding member of equality for lbgt. i voted against the ban on gay marriage. i was quite comfortable with civil unions and just went through my own process along with close friends of mine, one of whom has been in a 30-year relationship. is married. a friend of mine who has been a friend for more than 14 years.
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and the resolution really giev me the opportunity to focus on the issue and think about it. and there is a difference that is meaningful between civil unions and marriage. and that's why i made the decision that i did. but i'm not new to supporting lbgt rights and interest. >> city council alex vaughan sent me a personal statement. he is the city councilman who passed the resolution. he said, both the city council and mayor take a bold statement on this issue. as an african-american man and a political leader with a bright future in the democratic party, sir, can you explain how you were able to evolve on this issue, and how you think your evolvement will help a state like georgia? >> well, i think it's listening to the people that i know and care about. that's how a genuine change occurs. i happen to have a friend of mine, a woman named lee schrader
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who i have known since practicing law in 1995. i also know her wife melinda, and they're a wonderful couple. they invited me to their wedding that new york. and i was conflicted. i did not go because i would have felt like a hypocrite. it did make me think more and more. then i talked to my dad and he and i talked and i also talked to my chief of staff who is a very religious woman. and i concluded that there is a difference between marriage and civil unions and rights that come with marriage. and that if you really believe in equal protection, then gay and lesbian couples deserve the same equal protection under the constitution as i do, or you do. >> as we look at the georgia constitution, though, there is amendment 1 which forbids marriage equality. what does that mean in georgia?
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are you going to work to amend that constitutional law? >> i think it sends a significant signal as the mayor of a capital city, it will take time. i believe this is the first step. as i said that amendment passed in 2004 and i voted against it in 2004 because i thought it was wrong to but discrimination in the constitution. my evolvement, if you will, really kurd around moving from civil unions to being comfortable with marriage. and that's where i ended up. and i intend to carry that message all over georgia. >> thanks for joining us. i really appreciate your time. >> thank you, thomas. >> absolutely. just a programming note for everybody. maryland governor martin o'malley, whose state approved marriage equality by popular vote will join the reverend al sharpton tonight on "politics nation."
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responsibility. what's your policy?
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[ applause ] >> concert in new york city, the
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all-star benefit, ran into the wee hours of the morning with sets from bruce springsteen, paul mccartney, bon jovi, the who, eric clapton, and eddie vetter. it will provide relief to hurricane sandy victims. when sandy hit new york city in october, a four foot storm surge gushed into lower manhattan and through the doors of the city's leading shelter for lgbt homeless youth. that flooding utterly destroyed the drop-in site and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. the center is now struggling to get back on its feet, and one young man is offering financial heeling by putting on heels. >> i'm going to run across the brooklyn bridge in high heels. why would i go and do a crazy thing like that? because lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender homeless youth need our help. >> duke university student and lgbt activist jacob duvigh. your personal story is tied to this. however, you had a much more positive experience in coming out. why did you want to do this type
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of stunt for the alex vornay center? >> december 15th marks the five-year anniversary of coming out to my family, and i figured that there was no better way to celebrate it than to give back to youth who have not had it as easy as i have. lgbt youth are about homes. >> when we look at this, this is the teaser video. >> yes. >> you have not run across the brooklyn bridge yet. that's coming up on saturday. >> yes. >> but why do this in five inch stillettos? you're in heels right now. is this something you normally do? >> yeah. i wear high heels normally. it's part of who i am. it's how i express myself. i figured i would take my fabulocity. >> these are the shoes right here, the pair that you're going to wear on saturday. >> yes. >> these look brutal and dangerous. >> my feet will be hurting a little bit, um sure, once i'm done. >> look at this. >> they're large. they're certainly not -- i'm not messing around. they're five inch heels, and i'm sure my feet will be a little sore, but it's the least i can do to help out youth who really
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have had a lot harder than i am. >> do you think you're break stereotypes by doing this or lending to stereotypes of people that might be critical of what you are doing? >> i think it's to embrace who you are no matter what, this this is who i am. i don't think -- the critic kz say what they want to say. i'm proud of it. >> what's been the response so far? how much money are you hoping to raise? >> i was originally going to raise $2,000, and i'm at $10,000, and i hope today through saturday i'll be able to double it. >> i still can't get over these shoes. look at these things. look at that. >> they're not too bad. skoo they're not bad, but to run a mile is going to be tough. we wish you nothing but the best of luck. >> you got to be strong. >> you got to be strong. across the brooklyn bridge in freezing temperatures. >> you know. whatever. now with alex wagner is up next. joey ann receipted is going to lead that panel filling in for alex today. we expect big things. what's coming up? >> thank you, thomas. alex is off on a quick day trip to the planet mercury, but we have a packed show here on earth. the clock is counting down to
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christmas and the fiscal cliff deadline. nancy pelosi offers john boehner a course in speakership 101 and while the republican caucus continues its rowdy spirit, can boehner add his party's maim to the nice list or will he become the grinch who steals capitol hill's christmas? we'll discuss with joan walsh, nicolas, rona, and luke russert. plus, we'll ask the president of the sciu what michigan's right to work fight means for labor in the new year. white house watchers turn weight watchers. how critical should size be when judging governor chris christie's oval office bona fitis. all that in three minutes. eatme. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants.
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